New Microsoft Windows App for macOS

Microsoft announced a new Windows App yesterday. This kind of announcement normally doesn't send shock waves in the Apple community until you get an explanation on what the app really is.

Windows App is your gateway to Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, Microsoft Dev Box, Remote Desktop Services, and remote PCs, securely connecting you to Windows devices and apps.

You can use Windows App on many different types of devices on different platforms and form factors, such as desktops and laptops, tablets, smartphones, and through a web browser. When using a web browser on a desktop or laptop, you can connect without having to download and install any software.

As a long time Mac user, in a corporate Windows world, this kind of app instantly piqued my interest. 1 I've written in the past about tools I've adopted to develop and administer IBM Maximo from an Apple laptop. Needing to access Windows based servers was normally one of the lower priority items because there was usually a variety of software applications that would allow me to RDP into a server. That was until I recently migrated to a Apple Silicon based MBP.

The current Microsoft Remote Desktop app has had problems copy/pasting information from the Windows environment back to the macOS environment. Several articles on Microsoft Tech Community site will offer a solution to the problem, but then list multiple responses that the solution only worked for a while. So when I saw the post about the new app, I signed up for a TestFlight copy of the Windows App and took it for a spin.

Since my initial testing was only for RDP connections, the goal was to test the copy/paste functionality. Bingo! I copied 8200+ rows of information from a SQL query and pasted the information back into an Excel spreadsheet on my MBP. When using the Windows App I didn't get any delay, or worse, a beach ball in Excel.

With that test passing with flying colors, I wanted to explore some of the new features/functions in the app. The next one I wanted to try was the multiple monitor support. To enable that function, just edit the settings for the RDP connection.

Now I can use both of my monitors when I connect to a Windows server. Once I get home I'll see if there is still room on the Test Flight for the iOS version.

You can find more information about the Windows App here: Windows App documentation for users

  1. Like a lot. 

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